I wouldn't say that Sandals Negril is a high end luxury resort. Rather, it is really nice resort that is so perfectly fine I found myself feeling super good we didn't spend the extra $$ on the first choice but had just as great a time and can roll the dollars we saved into the next vacation. Here's the story:
Despite having a gazillion travel destinations on my list sometimes it takes me forever to just pick one and finalize plans. My recent trip to Jamaica began with spending hours comparing Caribbean resorts; eventually deciding on one in Turks & Caicos; only to have the airfare to Turks & Caicos double in price overnight. What the heck! Back to the drawing board - well back to the airfare sale emails I'd received that week. Within ten minutes I saw a roundtrip nonstop fare on American from Miami to Montego Bay for $224 and impulsively booked the flight. After getting the confirmation email from American I thought to myself - good lord - I hope all the rooms on the island aren't sold out. (Thankfully they weren't or else this piece might be titled "Even Travel Bloggers Make Big Travel Mistakes Sometimes!" HeeHee.)
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"Sensible luxury" is my travel style. Doesn't have to be way over the top but I like nice and comfortable sprinkled with some fancy fancy that isn't too stuffy. I'll be honest and say that the Sandals brand is not one that immediately comes to my mind when thinking about luxury resorts in the Caribbean. (My first ideas are usually Jumby Bay, Peter Island, Little Dix Bay etc. ...) However, I was in the U.K. when looking for a resort and I'll give Sandals props for influencing me with all the commercials they were running at the time. One resort in particular was advertising "all butler suites". Jeeves, for me? Hmm, maybe I will give Sandals another looksee.
Ultimately after comparing various resorts in Jamaica (including Round Hill, Half Moon & other Sandals properties) we decided to go to Sandals Negril and booked a honeymoon butler suite. (Sandals Negril was not the Sandals resort than I'd seen advertised but looked like a better fit for our vacation.) What a great choice this turned out to be!
From the moment we landed in Montego Bay everything went smoothly. (As a side note I have to add here that going through immigration and customs at MTB was a breezy half hour compared to the over two hours it took in the very hot Nassau airport recently.) After customs go to the Sandals lounge to let them know you've arrived, get yourself a Red Stripe (they have regular and light on draft) and log onto the internet!
First thing is that the resort is about an hour and a half from the airport. But don't worry, Sandals has the shuttle to and from down to a science and on the ride you get to see a bit of Jamaica ... hopefully you'll be lucky like we were and pull into the rest stop around the halfway mark. If so - go ahead and get some of the jerk chicken that the guy is cooking on the porch - you won't be sorry! Promise!
Now. About Sandals Negril Resort:
The resort: is all-inclusive (room, food, drink (including alcohol), various water sports & entertainment) and adults only (18+). Rooms: there are 226 rooms in a wide range of room categories from a two level loft beachfront to a swim-up crystal lagoon suite (this was our room) to a deluxe room in Paradise Beachfront Village and a ton of others in between. I was lucky enough to take a look at most of the room options and they are all quality. Food: seven different dining options. We managed to try most of the restaurants and believe me the food is good and there is a lot of variety. (If you go - be sure to get a pizza at the pizzeria. Yum.) Activities: beach, several pools (one with swim-up bar) water skiing, diving, snorkeling, glass bottom boat, floats - among other things, we took a ride on Big Mable (float pulled behind a boat) and it was tons of fun! Butler: if you get a room with the butler service you get some extra pampering and it can make the vacation even more special. Your butler reserves your beach chairs each day (with a cooler of beer/water); has coffee on the patio when you wake up; makes dinner reservations; handles any excursions you want to take (we went to Pelican Bar & Ricks); keeps your room bar stocked; has a fancy bath with flowers run ... you get the idea.
Sandals Negril is a complete class act with an easy atmosphere. And it's sitting on an absolutely beautiful beach. Can't ask for too much more. But there is more: the fabulous people that work at Sandals Negril are genuine and engaging without being intrusive. As a guest, I felt like a guest that was truly welcome (and not smelly like fish after three days :)). We met several folks that visit this resort often and no one had a single complaint; but even better was that everyone had such high compliments and praise for the friendly staff. (Shout-out to Orena, Kay-Ann, Renee, Andrea, Jerry, Kendra, Ian, Kenrick, Jervene, Richard, Keron, and Janice for going the extra mile to make our vacation extraordinary.)
Bottom line is that our stay at Sandals Negril was fantastic with the added bonus of being a good value. Wish I was there now and surely hope to return soon!
Happy & Safe Travels.
Come along with this southern girl on my fun travel adventures! I’m taking the tours; seeing the sites; trying out the hotels; dining at the restaurants; cruising on the cruise ships; and sharing the experiences on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my travel escapades and that they will be inspiring and helpful when planning your own fabulous adventures.